I have a little secret when it comes to sharing predictions: it’s difficult to anticipate trends at any time, but this year is especially challenging, given that so many governmental and economic factors are at play.

That doesn’t change the fact that thousands of home buyers this year will realize their dreams of home ownership, so it’s worth taking stock of where we are right now.

One trend that Census Bureau statistics have backed up shows millennials are increasingly moving to mid-sized cities to capitalize on things like lower costs of living, without having to sacrifice access to cultural activities, restaurants or recreation. There has also been more interest in suburban homes in metropolitan areas, particularly in smaller markets, as generational values shift to include priorities like walkability and easier access to outdoor spaces.

Even more Census Bureau info shows us that many are moving South. “Eight of the 15 cities or towns with the largest population gains were located in the South in 2017, with three of the top five in Texas.

Rent in these areas will rise with demand, so potential home buyers will benefit from buying and putting equity into their homes rather than padding someone else’s pocket by paying rent each month. This is especially true for “older Millennial move-up buyers” looking for options as they grow their families and commit to settling into a long-term home.

So, some real talk here, because I know it’s on your mind—will interest rates rise or fall? Previous predictions indicated that rates would go up again, but our predictions are only as good as our crystal ball, which means we won’t actually know for sure until Treasury rates rise.

And as someone who’s been in the mortgage business for over 16 years, one thing I know to be true is that knowledge is power. Educate yourself on the options available to you, be truthful to yourself about your financial situation, prioritize your values and the lifestyle you want to live, and you’ll be in the right mindset to make a confident decision. Regardless of the things out of your control like the Treasury, politicians, or unpredictable trends, I have faith that you’ll make the move that is the best fit for your situation. We’re all different, and that’s the beauty of this business—the time is perfect when it’s perfect for you.

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